This past Sunday, DRS held its third annual Nidivei Lev Service Society induction ceremony. This special ceremony recognizes those DRS students that have shown exemplary service to their community and school through extraordinary acts of chessed and kindness. The ceremony honored 13 members of the senior class who have served their school and larger community with great distinction. The ceremony was attended by the entire student body, as well as faculty and parents. Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, mara d’asra of the Young Israel of Lawrence and Cedarhurst, served as the keynote speaker, and he praised the students on their commitment to serving others.
What made the program truly unique was that the students were given awards by the directors and founders of many of the organizations that were the beneficiaries of the great chessed. Mr. Jonathan Cooper, director of student services/administrator at Kulanu, presented an award to Benjamin Watman for his four years of volunteer work with the organization. Rabbi Natan Farber and Rabbi Dov Emerson acknowledged the hard work and efforts that both Daniel Schein and Zack Weiss do on behalf of the students of DRS by going above and beyond, helping out in school in any way possible.
David Lauer was honored by Mrs. Jessica Katz of the Yad Leah organization for his hard work in running a clothing drive to collect coats for the needy in Eretz Yisrael. Yaakov Hawk’s tremendous fundraising efforts on behalf of the Masbia soup kitchen was recognized by its director, Mr. Alexander Rappaport. Dr. Neal Goldberg of the Lev Leytzan Foundation recognized the work of Benji Fink, Josh Fagin, and Josh Friedman, who put smiles on children’s faces in hospitals by acting as hospital clowns.
Mrs. Batsheva Borenstein spoke of Yaakov Hagler, Ahron Rubel, and Josh Libin’s amazing work with the children of the Chabad Friendship Circle. Finally, Mr. Andy Lauber of Chai Lifeline’s iShine program for siblings and children of those fighting cancer commended Elly Deutsch and Alex Selesny on their exemplary leadership and selflessness in working with the children on the program.
DRS menahel Rabbi Kaminetsky noted that all of the participants and guests were profoundly moved by the event: “Having been the beneficiaries of our students’ chessed programs here today has shown all of our students that when they give of themselves, they can absolutely change another person’s life.” Rabbi Kaminetsky began the program by thanking DRS director of student activities, Rabbi Eli Brazil, who coordinates all of the chessed activities that happen in DRS. Rabbi Brazil noted, “This program is important not only because it gives recognition to those have who have devoted their energy to helping others, but it also serves as an inspiration for our younger students to hopefully follow in the footsteps of these student leaders in giving back to the community.” v